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A little trip Shoreham EGKA to Alderney EGJA July 2021

Alderney has only just opened up, since it closed totally to the outside world due to the virus, in late March 2020. It had a “bubble” with Guernsey for some months and it was apparently full of tourists from Guernsey because they had nowhere else to go

The process is a bit involved, with more details here and here.


Even for a trivial flight like this, I got a bit of a curveball from ATC because I thought it would be simple like it always was I filed EGKA GWC KATHY ORIST EGJA and IFR at 5000ft. This is OCAS and while Eurocontrol validates it, the UK system tosses it in the bin immediately, so you don’t get any service unless you ask for it. Well, not from England! But that’s how simple flying is done in the UK, otherwise you tend to get this kind of crap unless you file much higher, and often oxygen levels are needed to get into CAS.

I got the wx for EGJA via the ADL150 satellite wx system so knew it would be runway 08, so I briefed that

but Guernsey (who I had told I wanted a Visual Approach) sent me to GOKOD

which at first I could not find Then they asked if I wanted a VFR arrival, so they cancelled IFR for me and sent to me a waypoint I could not understand, so I asked them to spell it. It turned out to be some VRP which I could not work out and it isn’t shown on any of my Jepp charts. Seeing my confusion they sent me to the “lighthouse” but then on handover to Alderney ATC I was given a left base for 08 which was pretty obvious Due to the new CAA no-prisoners policy I now record all A-B flights nowadays so can get the exchange if somebody really wanted it.

Lesson re-learnt so many times: never cancel IFR!

Final for 08.

The grass is very good, with not a single pothole spotted, and grass-tarmac transitions free of rocks and other stuff.

You get greeted by a team in “bio warfare dress” who tell you they have 3 cases on the island, adding with a totally straight face that the island is going into “full lockdown”. They love this job… No more going into the office to pay the landing fee. I brought some leaflets to re-stock the holder in their office but the man didn’t want to know, adding that nobody has been in that office in years…

We were told by Guernsey that we must not leave the footprint of the aircraft after landing, but that turned out to be wrong. The “covid welcome team” does not walk up to you as suggested. They expect you to walk to them. We discovered this after waiting for half an hour, when eventually I called that number in the notam (which BTW is almost never answered; you just keep leaving messages). You need to be pro-active on this otherwise the commercial flight will turn up and they will do that lot first. They turn up only for that flight, hence the notams about when you can arrive.

Alderney is one of the most lovely places I know. A bt like England in the 1950s movies This is the railway which runs at weekends; we did it 2 years ago and it is great fun

This is what keeps the islanders sane. Apparently the current virus outbreak was via a pub… sounds like half the island goes to that pub!

Walking towards Bray Hotel and the beach




I think this scuba shop closed 15 years ago

Perfect place to just chill. Justine loved it too, and the short flights (~40 mins) are great

A pig sanctuary

Abandoned houses (not as many as Greece or Croatia but still quite a few around), reportedly for sale for £1.


Walking along the road which periodically crosses the railway

A well preserved bunker – closed to public of course. They try to keep people out of a lot of the ~600 bunkers but a lot are open, and even some tunnels are there but they won’t tell you where. I did one of them 2 years ago

The yard in the distance, with the big sheds, is the end of the railway. We walked the whole distance of the railway.

A miniature railway

One of the many bunkers

The lighthouse with an amazing fog horn


Life is casual

and food is great


There is clearly a fair bit of concern about the virus. The island enjoyed its totally free time during lockdown and now many are not sure what to do. One sees loads of people wearing masks in open air when there is nobody around, which is obviously completely clueless! Some establishments are also not exactly friendly… one place would not serve food (outdoors!) unless we were a “group”. The Bray hotel staff were going on about getting ready for shutting down.

Departing, walking past the “biological processing station” This time they wanted to see the “Guernsey GAR form” and passports. Security crew rented from India

08 departure

The commandant’s bunker is around the middle of this pic but last time I looked I never found it

Lovely beaches, with colours almost like Greece

Loads of traffic (Saturday) with loads of Mode A contacts (Mode C/S transponders with altitude turned off, due to the CAA smash-them policy). A couple of Mode As flew right across our track, never seen. One at about 150kt so clearly something with a transponder…


And loads of non-TXP planes, including one which was a glider towing plane operating east of Goodwood… I know half the UK is doing this at 2000ft or less, especially under the 2500ft LTMA, but it is dumb doing it at say 3000-4000ft.

Landing back home on 20

Alderney is a lovely place to visit. Now, very little accommodation because of heavy Guernsey tourism (which the locals are very happy to see – easy money!) but you can find some. We stayed in the lovely Villa Mondrian. There is also a campsite somewhere which is probably available – unless anything on the Scilly Isles which are totally heavily booked-out now.

I don’t think the island will go into lockdown, but they have been slacking on vaccinations, with maybe half the island not having it. The bad PR around AZ meant younger people would be fiven Pfizer and that was a trip to Guernsey which most could not be bothered to do (and travelling between islands is expensive – a lot of money being extracted from the islanders by the “airline”).

You can walk around most of the island in 2-3 days, especially if you rent a bike, and e-bike rental is very popular, at £26/day.

Great ATC service from Jersey Zone and Guernsey, as usual, great service from Bournemouth (as usual these days) and rubbish from Solent (as usual these days)

Landing back at Shoreham, we were met up by Special Branch. They said they meet all flights from abroad.

MI5: So where have you come from?
Me: Alderney.
FBI: And why did you go there?
Me: Errr…(taken by surprise and wondering if I’d forgotten it was banned or something)…we just felt like it.
Special branch: So a leisure trip then?
Me: Yes.
KGB: It’s allowed because it’s in the common travel area.
Me (relieved): Yes.
Stasi: And where are you going after this?
Me: Home.
Mossad: Which is?
Me: [name of our village].
MI6: So not very far?
Me: No, ten minutes.
CIA: OK. (then slightly embarrassed) It’s just with Covid we’re meeting all the flights.
Me: OK.
Inspector Clouseau: Alderney…is that the one with no cars?
Me: No, that’s Sark or Herm I think.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

The commandant’s bunker is around the middle of this pic but last time I looked and never found it

Could this be it? It looks like a raised building camoflaged in grass. Aslo looks like a path entrance from the closer side.

Looks like a great trip! It’s maybe 20 years since I was last in Alderney. Maybe when things get back to normal we could do a meet up there

EIKH Kilrush

I think it is to the left of that. I think I found it last time, covered in soil and landscaped to be invisible. It is here and I must have got very close to it last time.

Accommodation is hard on Alderney right now. The Bray hotel was solidly booked and, when we were there to ask about food, not really friendly even for that.

ATC on Alderney is really friendly. They have a big fly-in every year; no idea who organises it. A big difference from the Scilly Isles which basically doesn’t want GA at all. I am planning S. Isles in a week’s time but there is no accommodation and even the campsite is solidly booked, leaving just “wild camping” which the locals would report to the police.

EuroGA airports database report.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Will they let you shut down and push on to the grass? Though it looks like a 1000 calorie workout to get from the nearest tarmac to where you’re parked! So maybe shut down and walk the grass before parking? I’m paranoid about ever going on unknown grass again.

EIMH, Ireland

Absolutely not possible to push a TB20 along that grass, or any grass, unless there are three of you and all quite strong. And yes it is quite a distance in this case.

But the grass is fine.

Taxi with the elevator all the way up, to minimise nose wheel pressure.

I don’t like unknown grass either, and we get a 50% dropout (100% with Mooneys) on any EuroGA meet-up which goes to grass

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Nice trip, the beach seems less busy ?!

zuutroy wrote:

Will they let you shut down and push on to the grass?

They won’t, the next request will be asking ATC to come and help pushing ;)

Last Edited by Ibra at 19 Jul 09:59
Paris/Essex, United Kingdom

It wasn’t at all crowded.

Like the Scilly Isles, Alderney is really hard for people to get to. I think that – apart from getting a private flight which is something a good number of the islanders do, reportedly – you basically have to fly to Guernsey and then fly to Alderney. The Aurigny website is useless for working out the options. Last time I looked, the direct England-Alderney flights were sparse. And unlike the Scillies which are now absolutely packed-out and totally accommodation-limited (even the campsite is gone) Alderney has been shut since March 2020, except to Guernsey.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

MI5: So where have you come from?
Me: Alderney.
FBI: And why did you go there?
Me: Errr…(taken by surprise and wondering if I’d forgotten it was banned or something)…we just felt like it.
Special branch: So a leisure trip then?
Me: Yes.
KGB: It’s allowed because it’s in the common travel area.
Me (relieved): Yes.
Stasi: And where are you going after this?
Me: Home.
Mossad: Which is?
Me: [name of our village].
MI6: So not very far?
Me: No, ten minutes.
CIA: OK. (then slightly embarrassed) It’s just with Covid we’re meeting all the flights.
Me: OK.
Inspector Clouseau: Alderney…is that the one with no cars?
Me: No, that’s Sark or Herm I think.
Antonio
LESB, Spain
8 Posts
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